Thanks to the infamous “Waters of the United States” (WOTUS) rule from EPA, regulatory costs increased by more than $500 million. Annualized burdens were $497 million, with no benefit figures, and just 707 paperwork burden hours.
In eight years in office, President Bush finalized 496 major regulations. In less than six and a half years, President Obama’s regulators managed to surpass that total, issuing their 500th major regulation this week. The combined cost of major regulations from 2009 to present is a whopping $625 billion.
Some congratulations are in order for the Obama Administration. They have issued 500 “major” regulations at a pace that would make Dale Earnhardt Jr. blush. At that pace, the administration has averaged about one “major” regulation every work week. Tallying up all of the regulations with annual costs of over $100 million, the Obama Administration’s “major” regulations will cost more than $625 billion.
After two weeks of more than $25 billion in regulatory burdens, regulators took a week off, imposing just $40 million in burdens while cutting almost 500,000 paperwork hours. Annualized costs were $40 million, compared to $402 million in benefits. A rule on motor vehicle safety led the week.
As the Supreme Court puts the finishing touches on its opinion in King v. Burwell, which will decide the fate of Affordable Care Act (ACA) subsidies and key portions of the law, many might be curious to know what’s left of ACA implementation. According to American Action Forum (AAF) research, there are more than $700 million in total regulatory costs remaining and 8.3 million paperwork burden hours.
A regulatory budget is sorely misunderstood, especially by progressives, who view it has a radical attempt to tear down public protections. Below are a few “myths and facts” about a regulatory budget and the practical implications of adopting it nationwide.
EPA’s second round of heavy-duty truck efficiency standards could cost more than $30 billion. For perspective, the first iteration imposed costs of $8.1 billion. Partnered with the Department of Transportation (DOT), EPA issued its latest round of greenhouse gas (GHG) standards, aiming to cut close to one billion metric tons of GHGs.
This was another incredible week for regulation. After an $8.4 billion week, regulators didn’t rest on their laurels, adding $19.4 billion in proposed and final costs.
Banning “trans fats” could cost $11 billion, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which recently released a “declaratory order” regarding partially hydrogenated oils, the source of trans fats. The order finds that trans fats are no longer considered “generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for any use in human food.” Instigated by “citizen petitions,” FDA made this determination under an arcane provision in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), outside of the usual notice and comment rulemaking process. FDA expects full compliance by June 18, 2018.
An onslaught of regulatory activity added $8.4 billion in costs this week. Annual burdens were $1.9 billion, compared to $1 billion in benefits. In total, there were a slate of major regulations that drove costs, with five rulemakings that imposed more than $100 million in annual burdens.
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy spent yesterday mis-educating the students at George Washington University. She began: "If you are selling to somebody a product, and you can assure them that that product was produced in the most environmentally responsible way, I will guarantee you that they will value that product more highly," McCarthy said at the 2015 GreenGov symposium at George Washington University in Washington. She then asserted "That is how government works — we tell you what you can do today. We give you the flexibility to get it done yourself and we send a long-term market signal that is going to open up innovation moving forward."
In what has become an unfortunate biannual tradition in failed transparency, the administration released its regulatory agenda on the eve of a holiday weekend, this time, the Thursday evening before Memorial Day. An American Action Forum (AAF) review of the agenda found more than $110 billion in potential costs, with billions more in unknown burdens.
Regulatory burdens inched along again this week. Regulators published $352 million in costs ($143 million annualized), compared to $163 million in benefits. Paperwork surged ahead at 1.9 million burden hours. The “Medicaid Mega Rule” led the week.
A “Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces” proposal from the administration drove more than $250 million in regulatory costs this week. Annual costs were $144 million, with all rulemakings omitting monetized benefits; paperwork increased by more than 2.4 million hours.
The Environmental Protection Agency recently released the final version of its much anticipated “Water of the United States” (WOTUS) rule. The rule seeks to define the waterways under EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act. The unofficial, pre-publication version of the rule is 297 pages.